The Things We Ate (Christmas Edition)

I was drafting a list of recipes that we tried out over the last week of entertaining to email to the moms, and I thought we might get a conversation going here about the tasty things we ate this holiday. If nothing else, having an index assembled will save some Googling when the next batch of house guests rolls into town and it’s time to plan another menu.

Here are some things we enjoyed in Baltimore:

Chestnut and Celery Soup
A perfect way to use up the the extra 2.5 cups of roasted and peeled chestnuts you might have left over after making these cookies if you had a really good batch of nuts like I did.

Butternut Squash Soup
I never have Calvados on hand, but I have never gone wrong substituting a bit of bourbon or cognac.

Red Pepper Bean Dip
Be sure to drain out all packing liquid well or it can get a little soupy.

Walnut Pesto on Toasts
I triple the sun-dried tomatoes.

Marinated Salmon with Pepper Crust
We served it on a bed of sautéed swiss chard. B handled the meat-cooking honors with panache.

Roasted Mushrooms
Best for a casual affair where no one will get uncomfortable if you lean over with your dinner roll and drag it around in the buttery, caper-loaded sauce.

The Best Waffles
I added a pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to the batter. Then, when all was said and done, I accidentally stashed my mom’s waffle iron out of sight when she wasn’t looking and she headed home without it. Sorry!

Rye Bread

Best, most professional looking and tasting bread I have managed to make at home to date. The bar is set on this one.

Nutty Granola
Makes for a great breakfast or between-meal snack with some yogurt and/or whatever fruit is around.

These are already insanely impressive, but they are even tastier served with a bit of butter mixed with a drip of maple syrup.

…and too many cookies to count! Mom brought Lebkuchen this year and it was a holiday highlight for sure.

Based on the generosity of my family, it looks like I’ll be spending 2011 covered in flour. I can’t wait to get started.


4 thoughts on “The Things We Ate (Christmas Edition)

  1. Did not see a mention of the famous Baltimore “Pickle Back” or Youngstown’s own ” Three Cheese Bread”. Anyway, I thought that all the food was great. You are a fantastic cook.
    PS…You call those Garlics? Wait till next Aug.

    1. Oooh, quite right, sir. Dad arrived for Christmas celebrations with delicious cheesy bread in tow (recipe can be found here if you want to try it out for yourself). This bread neatly omitted the need for a cheese plate by coming pre-packed with several delicious varieties baked inside. An impressive addition to our holiday bread bowl, and especially tasty with soup.

      As for the Pickle Back, visitors to Baltimore are most definitely encouraged to visit Woodberry Kitchen (a restaurant I like to frequent as often as is reasonable) where the cocktail menu includes a 3-part drink consisting of a shot of whiskey, a shot of pickle juice (house made! and addictively delicious) and a wheat beer. File under: rustically refined.

  2. Chestnut seemed to be a common thread in our menus this year. Also tried the beautiful chestnut cookies, a variation on the Mexican wedding cookie. New Year’s brought chestnut flan and a squash and chester soup. Recipes to come.

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